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Union ex-minister Kamal Morarka dies at 74

Morarka was a minister of state in the Prime Minister’s Office in the Chandra Sekhar-led government between 1990 and 1991. He was also a Rajya Sabha MP, nominated by the JD (S) from Rajashthan, between 1988 and 1994.

By: Express News Service | Jaipur |
Updated: January 16, 2021 3:06:42 am
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Former Union minister and businessman Kamal Mahavirprasad Morarka died in Mumbai on Friday evening following a heart attack.

He was 74.

“He was fine till around 5 pm today, but passed away shortly afterwards owing to a heart attack,” said Rajendra Sharma, one of Morarka’s aides.

Rajkumar Sharma, MLA from Nawalgarh in Rajasthan, tweeted, “Shocked at the demise of former Union Minister and famous industrialist of Nawalgarh, Shri Kamal Morarka ji. This is irreparable damage to all of us.”

Morarka was incumbent president of Samajwadi Janata Party (Chandra Shekhar). He was elected to Rajya Sabha in 1988. In November 1990, he was appointed a Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s office during the tenure of Chandra Shekhar – his mentor — as PM. His uncle R R Morarka was also an MP in the third Lok Sabha (1962) from Jhunjhunu.

Born and brought up in Mumbai, Morarka was always connected to Nawalgarh, the land of his ancestors, in Jhunjhunu district. In the early 1990s, Morarka set up the M R Morarka – GDC Rural Research Foundation in Nawalgarh, in memory of his father M R Morarka. The Foundation focuses on research and development to help farmers, including recycling of farm waste “through traditional and modern methods.” Over the years, it has had a special focus on organic farming, and the development and promotion of Vermiculture Technology.

Morarka also served as Vice President of Rajasthan Cricket Association as well as the Vice President of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Morarka was also known for Left of Centre, a collection of his speeches in Parliament, on the significant events of the 1990s, including the Bofors scam, the liberalisation of the economy, the Babri Masjid demolition, the Harshad Mehta scam and more, while his wildlife photography was presented in a coffee table book Roar: A Walk Through The Wild With Kamal Morarka.

A man of many talents, Morarka was also the proprietor of Hindi daily Chauthi Duniya, among others.

He had last contested an election in 2016. In May 2016, Morarka had thrown his hat in the ring, as an independent candidate, on the last day of nominations for Rajya Sabha byelections from Rajasthan. He was backed by Congress MLAs and other Opposition legislators. However, BJP candidate M Venkaiah Naidu, then a Union minister, as well as party leaders Om Prakash Mathur, Harshvardhan Singh of Dungarupur royal family and retired RBI officer Ramkumar Verma, had managed to win.

Morarka is survived by his wife and two daughters.

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